Open the shuttlebay doors: the futuristic Hyundai Staria is coming to Australia, and we now have a better look.

Official images – now without dark shadows – reveal just how low the belt line plunges on the Staria, and give us a better look at how dramatically raked the front end is.

No technical specifications have been released yet, though Hyundai will officially reveal the Staria in the first half of 2021 ahead of its local launch in the second half.

A peek at the up-spec Staria Premium’s rear badging reveals the number 3.5, suggesting this is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine.

That points to the Staria using the Kia Carnival’s naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6, which produces 216kW of power and 355Nm of torque.

Diesel options also appear likely, considering the use of turbo-diesel engines in the Carnival and the outgoing Hyundai iLoad and iMax.

Inside, the Staria is a huge leap over the ageing iMax and adds features found in newer Hyundai products.

These include a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 64-colour adjustable ambient lighting, and a digital instrument cluster.

We expect it’ll also offer a full suite of active safety and driver assist features like recent Hyundai models, and in stark contrast to the ageing iMax which lacks any of that technology.

The top-spec Staria Premium also features a push-button shifter, though the regular Staria sticks with a conventional one.

The Staria Premium is available with a choice of seven, nine or 11 seats, though the latter is only for the Korean market.

In the seven-seat model, there’s a one-touch ‘relaxation mode’ that automatically reclines the seat to a comfortable position.

Nine-seater models’ second-row seats can swivel 180 degrees to face the row behind.

Other Staria models will be available with between two and 11 seats – we’ve already seen leaked photographs of the cargo version of this model, which will replace the iLoad.

As expected of a minivan, there’s plenty of storage including at the top and bottom of the centre stack.

Hyundai also says there’s storage space available below the instrument cluster and on top of the overhead console.

The company has revealed what the regular Staria people mover will look like on the outside.

It’s distinguished by a different grille insert, headlights and wheels, while the tail lights don’t use clear lenses and also don’t extend quite as far as the roof.

The wheels also appear to be slightly smaller than the Premium’s 18-inch wheels, while the regular Staria lacks the Premium’s bronze/rose-gold accents.

Both Staria and Staria Premium models feature a full-width daytime running light at the front and a large, low-set grille.

Hyundai was indeed going for a space theme with the Staria, with its silhouette said to be inspired by “the halo that illuminates Earth’s horizon during sunrise when viewed from space”.

There were some more down-to-earth inspirations for the Staria’s design, though, including the Korean architectural style known as hanok.

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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